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ST, Ball-IT make MEMS-based wireless controller ball

Posted: 29 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ST? Ball-IT? MEMS? ball controller? user interface?

Controller ball from ST, Ball-IT

STMicroelectronics and wireless sensor provider Ball-IT Oy have announced a MEMS-based wireless motion-control device. The announcement said this golf ball-sized device can operate as a freehand personal computer mouse, compass, measuring tape, pedometer and a 3D-object controller.

Enabled by ST's MEMS technology, which uses standard semiconductor technology to mass produce precise micron-sized structures that interact with the physical world, Ball-IT's wireless ball controller responds to changes in position, direction, speed and acceleration, down to the most delicate movements, and translate those movements into immediate on-screen action. The ball is also sensitive to pressure, so its motion-sensitive user interface includes squeeze-prompted commands.

The small dimensions and ultralow-power consumption of ST's three-axis digital acceleration sensor contribute to the user-friendly size and weight of the smart ball and prolong its battery life. "ST's accelerometers fit perfectly with our real-time wireless sensor technology to create a compelling case for the adoption of motion-based user interfaces in a wide range of personal electronic devices," said Johannes V??n?nen, chairman of Ball-IT.

"This cooperation with Ball-IT confirms our conviction that high-quality, cost-effective MEMS sensors open up exciting new possibilities for intuitive man-machine interaction in consumer applications," said Benedetto Vigna, MEMS business unit director, STMicroelectronics.

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